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Boating Safety



The Office of Boating Safety and Education’s mission is to develop individual awareness, skills, commitment to safe responsible behavior, and constructive actions in safe boating. The goal for students is to be aware of state laws regarding safety violations and how to prevent them from happening while still enjoying Delaware’s waterways.

Persons born on or after January 1, 1978 must successfully complete a boating safety course before operating a motorized boat, including personal watercraft, on Delaware waters.

The Office of Boating Safety and Education is dedicated to teaching residents and visitors safe boating practices. The Office works with Boating Safety Volunteers to teach boating safety to children and adults alike. It has forged partnerships with organizations such as the US Coast Guard Auxiliary, the United States Power Squadrons, the Delaware Safety Council and several others to help educate the public to keep Delaware’s waterways safe and clean.

Boating Safety Handbook

The Handbook of Delaware Boating Laws and Responsibilities, developed for the Delaware Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police, provides an introduction to Delaware laws governing boating and provides general information about safe vessel operation.

Basic Boating Safety Course

The Basic Boating Safety Course covers a range of important topics. These include the rules of the waterways, distinguishing navigational aids and water depths, and speed limits for appropriate waterways. It covers understanding weather systems to have a safe boating experience and basic skills, including engine mechanics.

The course includes state laws and regulations, as well as required equipment, and what to do if an officer stops your vessel. The Basic Boating Safety Course has a section on the dangers of boating under the influence.

The course teaches users how to keep their vessels comfortable and safe in all types of waves, seas, weather and conditions, and how and when to use a marine VHF radio if needed.

Most importantly the course emphasizes common sense and general courtesy to all boaters and personal water craft riders.

This Basic Boating Safety Course meets the requirement for mandatory boating education.

Paddle Sport Safety

This free, online course, sanctioned by the National Association of State Boating Law Administrators and recognized by the U.S. Coast Guard, provides guidance for safety while padding canoes, kayaks paddleboards and other non-motorized craft. It will earn you a Paddlesports Safety Certificate. But please note: it is not a Delaware Boating Safety Course.

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